How I Take My Travel Photos

It’s another travel week! This time, I’m headed to Chicago for another Greek young adult conference. And in honor, I thought I would continue my on-going travel blog series.

I get asked a lot how I’m able to take such good photos when I travel so I thought in today’s post, I would share all of my tips and tricks with you. Note that you don’t have to have an actual camera, an iPhone will do just fine! In fact, most of my good photos from over the years were taken on an iPhone. I just recently got a new camera and am still playing around with all the features and functions of it!

Remember the rule of thirds

One of the most basic photography principles in the rule of thirds. Essentially, when you are going to take a picture, there is a 3×3 grid on your screen. You want to get your subject where this lines intersect, mostly in the upper left or right hand corner. This beautifully balances out the shot, getting both enough of the subject and the background. In this photo of the Seattle skyline, notice how the Space Needle and the rest of downtown (my subject) is mostly on the left-hand side of the frame.

Take advantage of golden hour

Another photography technique, golden hour is the hour or two before the sun starts setting and provides optimal lighting for photographs. If you want to do a photoshoot, wait it out until golden hour and you will be guaranteed to get the best photos. In this photo when I was in Krabi, Thailand, I made sure to be out there at the tail end of golden hour. Not only was it a great time to shoot, the lighting perfectly accented the scenery, giving it an amazing effect

Use depth of field

Depth of field is photography jargon for “portrait mode”. The deeper the depth of field, the more you are able to blur out the background and get the foreground more in focus. I love this feature for small details I want to highlight in a photo. For example, this photo taken at Doi Su Thep in Chiang Mai, I used portrait mode to highlight this feature on the temple (it looks like a dragon to me…).

Use a tripod

If you are solo traveling, get yourself a tripod. In my experience, it’s the best way to get the photo you want. Sure, you will look a little bit extra, but you will get some pretty awesome photos. Just set it up, put yourself in frame, and go for it! Sure it might take 50 frames to get the shot, but it’s kinda fun! I did this a lot when I was in Asia last year, but this is one of my favorites I took in Hakone, Japan.

Leverage your angles

One of my biggest tips for getting cool photos is playing with your angles. And I don’t mean just tilting the camera at an angle so the frame is angled. I mean set your camera up to where it might be facing upward or downward. You add perspective to the photo, and you are able to get more of the frame, especially if you are in some pretty tall company. This photo I took at the Gardens at Marina Bay Sands is one of my favorites. You can tell there is a slight upward angle, allowing me to get the structures in the background.

So that’s how I take my photos when I travel! What are your go-to tips and tricks?

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